I have broken the article into 2 parts, because of its length. Part II is here.
Who is the BDS Movement and what is its goal? We need to know if we in the coop are to vote on holding a referendum to join BDS.
BDS stands for Boycott, Divest, Sanction. The target is Israel. BDS equates Israel with the former apartheid regime of South Africa." It claims Israel is obligated under international law to 1) End the occupation of Arab lands 2) Provide equal rights for Arab Citizens of Israel 3) Allow the return of Arabs who left Palestine during the 1948 war, and their descendants to settle in Israel.1. The goal, according to BDS leader Omar Barghouti, is "a more just, moral and therefore enduring alternative for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Mandate Palestine: the one-state solution."
The BDS claims seem reasonable, only if you know nothing about the Middle East or World History.
If Barghouti were a true advocate of a "peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs," he would encourage peacebuilding activities and dialogues intended to normalize relationships between Arabs and Jews.
In peacebuilding, efforts are made to open channels of communication, get people involved in joint projects, work with the media and the educational system to try to break down stereotypes, and reduce prejudice and discrimination. The goal of all of these efforts is reconciliation – getting the people to accept each other as part of their own group or be reconciled to mutual co-existence and tolerance.3.
But Barghouti's organization, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) opposes these activities. It published a pamphlet to discourage Palestinian youth from participating in peacebuilding efforts, "Why Must We Must Boycott Peacemakers?".4. The pamphlet brands as "traitors" anyone who participates in these activities.
Barghouti ignores a century of Arab instigated anti-Jewish violence. He ignores the 2nd class status of Jews as dhimmi under the Ottomans, and the periodic outbreaks of violence against them that pre-date the Eretz Yisrael Movements. He ignores the incitement of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, from 1923 and onwards. Barghouti sees no fault on the part of the Arabs; they are only the victims of Zionist agression, and he accuses the Jews of the most heinous crimes.
One has to wonder, given the hatred for Jews that Barghouti constantly foments, how does he expect that Jews and Arabs could live together peacefully.
Incidentally, Omar Barghouti does not believe the academic boycott applies to himself personally. Barghouti is Ph.D. candidate at Tel Aviv University.
1. Paraphrased from Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS: http://www.bdsmovement.net/call
2. Omar Barghouti, http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/12/12/relative-humanity-the-essential-obstacle-to-a-just-peace-in-palestine/
3. Conflict Research Consortium, http://www.crinfo.org/CK_Essays/ck_peacebuilding.jsp
4. MidEastWeb for Coexistence, http://www.mideastweb.org/PACBI_youth_boycott_Arabic.htm